Proterra Introduces Longer Range Electric Buses – Up To 180 Miles

MAR 12 2015 BY MARK KANE 11

Proterra electric bus

Proterra electric bus

Proterra announced a new flexible offer of electric buses with range of up to 180 miles.

Earlier, the company was focused solely on smaller battery packs with fast charging system in less than 10 minutes. Now, Proterra should be able to compete directly with BYD’s long-range buses.

“To more fully serve the diverse needs of the North American transit market, Proterra Inc., the leading provider of zero-emission battery-electric buses, has launched a new extended-range product line. With the introduction of the new TerraVolt™ XR extended-range battery, Proterra buses can now be configured to travel up to 180 miles between charges. This newest high energy density battery complements the existing TerraVolt™ FC fast-charge battery which has been extensively tested over nearly one million customer revenue miles.

These two battery packs are key components of Proterra’s revolutionary TerraFlex™ energy system and can be used interchangeably in the Catalyst™ vehicle platform. This system enables customers to select the right amount and type of energy storage to meet specific route requirements. Once customized, operators can easily reconfigure battery packs to meet evolving service needs. Both battery systems are compatible with Proterra’s on-route and in-depot chargers, resulting in a platform with ultimate flexibility at the lowest cost.”

Matt Horton, vice president of sales and marketing at Proterra, Inc. stated:

“Operating successfully in cities across the country, the Proterra Catalyst™ is the most energy-efficient transit bus on the market. Adding extended-range capabilities to our existing portfolio of fast-charge products, enables us to help our customers meet more of their most demanding service requirements. The flexibility of our platform allows our customers to more confidently invest in the future of transit.”

There will be two main options:

  • The fast-charge Catalyst™ FC with 53 kWh and 131 kWh TerraVolt™ FC and charging capability in under 10 minutes
  • The extended-range Catalyst™ XR with 129 kWh and 321 kWh TerraVolt™ XR and charging capability in a little over an hour

Customers can check for the best solution for them using this new configurator.

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11 Comments on "Proterra Introduces Longer Range Electric Buses – Up To 180 Miles"

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Woo, nice. 🙂

So you have 2 packs in the bus with different charge rate capabilities?? I’ll have to go look at the web site.

One battery is a fast charging lithium titanate battery, and the other battery is higher density NMC chemistry for extended range.

Thx Sven,
I like this design. It’s like an extended range battery. I think the titanate batteries had a pretty high dollar amount so this worked good. A hybrid pure electric.

Proterra says it can customize the type and amount of energy storage on each bus to match its route needs, and provides the flexibility to quickly reconfigure batteries on each bus to respond to changing route requirements. The 4 to 10 battery packs are “interchangeable” and have “quick-disconnect technology” that allows them to be easily removed and reconfigured as route needs change. The battery packs have “plug-and-play interoperability between battery types.” Proterra also says that it’s extended range buses “can plug into two chargers at once for faster charging.”

Good stuff!

Does the 180 mile range bus cost 1 or 2 million?

I’ve been wondering why NYC never bought those BYD buses they tested a while ago, I guess they’ve been waiting for this thing to come out. Hopefully the pricing will be right and this bus floods all of the US cities…

IF you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

THe only thing I don’t understand is why it took so long for companies to realize the Superiority of BYD’s business model.

I don’t see many doing the “Substation at every bus stop” anymore. That has atrophied down to a Substation at each end.

Now, the charging speed will finally be optimized with ballancing bus readiness with utility demand charges.

Of course BYD is trying to get all demand charges eliminated. Which is a bit unfair to other rate payers, seeing as they have to pick up the expense.

They are usually already getting low, after midnight energy rates. I’d not be too greedy, and be satisfied with that.

Bill, originally, the problem was that BYD buses were way too heavy with all those batteries. This is now changing with the latest NMC cells with higher energy density. Peak demand charges were actually worse for the LTO model, and combined with daytime rates was more expensive than diesel for some California installations of the Proterra. Thus, the “conversion” of Proterra to nighttime charging. However, this is not a panacea either, since 50 buses charging at 50kW each is a massive load concentrated within just a few hours at night. This can require some big infrastructure upgrades at the depot. It seems possible that some combination of day and night charging and will be the most effective use of electrical infrastructure to smooth out the load over the entire day, but it is still not clear. You might notice that you can either plug in the new batteries using two plugs (like BYD), or continue using the overhead automated charger. We at Opbrid believe that automated overhead charging is still the most flexible and safest way to handle high power charging, and doesn’t have to cost more than plugging in 2 or more cables manually.

Precisely my point about ballancing ‘bus readiness’ with ‘demand charges’. A large bus depot, say 100 busses, charging the ‘avg’ bus at 25 kw (yes some busses would have to be charged much faster due to readiness requirements, but then again so can many busses charge more slowly – therefore I picked 25 kw) would be 2500 kw, or basically with an 80% cushion a 5000 amp electric service at 480. A bit pricey, true, but then we are talking about charging 100 busses. And its a one-time cost. Now to get a medium voltage or transmission voltage discount, a depot of this size may choose voluntarily to pay for construction of new higher voltage lines, put in duplicate transmission voltage facilities and requisite switch gear. But it is a VOLUNTARY choice and not required. They could just continue taking delivery at 480 volts and get the time of day discount even though they are paying ‘full’ price. So, the installation COULD be cheap, but then even I would advise in most cases going to transmission voltage if the particular utility’s rate schedule makes it compelling. There’s a cheesy supermarket chain by me (TOPS) that spends all kinds of cash… Read more »